Results for Jammie Thomas

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Music News

Last week Jammie Thomas, the first of 20,000 people the RIAA accused of infringement to go to trial, lost her battle with the record labels. A jury in Duluth, MN found Thomas liable for infringing copyright on 24 major-label recordings and awarded the record industry $220,000 in damages. Most of the other people sued settled out of court, but as her attorney Brian Toder explains to Jim and Greg, Thomas insisted that she did not download copyrighted songs to make them available for sharing in a folder on the KaZaA peer-to-peernetwork. Eric Bangeman, the managing editor of the website Ars Technica, also speaks to Jim and Greg about this issue, and he notes that this was a key point in the trial. The judge in the trial instructed the jury that the prosecution didn‘t have to prove that any music was actually shared, just that Thomas made the files available for sharing. Toder and his legal team are gearing up for an appeal, and Thomas has proclaimed herself a permanent thorn in the side of the record industry, but until actual laws are changed to reflect the digital age, it’s doubtful any thorns will be able to penetrate the thick hide of the RIAA.

Go to episode 98

Music News

Often when Jim and Greg discuss RIAA lawsuits in the news, the stories seem to paint a dreary picture for the average music fan. But this week things are looking up for the little guy. Last year Jammie Thomas was convicted of music piracy in the country's first file-sharing trial. But, now the judge is asking for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis believes he didn‘t instruct the jury properly and didn’t insist that the prosecution prove files were actually downloaded. In addition, he thinks the $220,000 fine is completely excessive. The judge is also urging for better copyright laws, something Jim and Greg have been saying for years.

The consumer does not fare as well in the next news story. Both Wal-Mart and Yahoo! Music have announced that customers who purchased music with DRM protection will not be able access their purchases for much longer. In Yahoo's case, it is because their music store, and consequently their DRM server, is shutting down. And, while Wal-Mart was wise to eliminate DRM files, Jim and Greg don't understand why customers who purchased songs prior to this shift should penalized. For every step forward in the digital music industry, there are at least two steps back.

Jim and Greg next give their takes on the recent My Bloody Valentine reunion show. The influential U.K. band played Chicago as their first tour in 16 years, and both Jim and Greg were there to witness it, though one has to wonder if they saw the same show. Both critics agree that the band's 1991 album Loveless was a masterpiece, but Jim wished they had played some new material. He also didn't see evidence that the band has kept up with the times, calling their dated loops and samples cheesy. Greg was much more impressed and thinks the members of MBV deserve one free pass in terms of not having new material. He was also blown away by their sound - almost literally.

Go to episode 149

Music News

Jim and Greg start off the show by updating a couple of news stories they've been talking about recently. The first is the sad state of album sales this season. When fall first kicked off, industry insiders had high hopes for big releases from people like Kanye West, 50 Cent, and The Foo Fighters. And now albums by Bruce Springsteen, the cast of High School Musical 2 and Rascal Flatts have been added to the mix. But, despite the big names, sales have not been soaring. In fact, in this week's chart, not even one album has approached six figures.

So what does the music industry do to appease its shrinking customer base? Answer: Sue them. Last week the RIAA sent its ninth wave of pre-litigation letters to administrators at 19 universities. A couple of weeks ago Jim and Greg discussed the trial of Jammie Thomas, a woman from Minnesota who was found guilty of copyright infringement to the tune of $220,000. It seems that trial left a taste of victory in the RIAA's mouth, because they are continuing their crackdown on music“theft”among college students. It seems these members of the industry missed the "Radiohead" memo.

Go to episode 100